The History Channel Presents THE HISTORY OF THE HOLIDAYS Martin by historyman


									                            The History Channel Presents
                      THE HISTORY OF THE HOLIDAYS
                 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: The Making of a Dream
The observance of Martin Luther King Day provides an excellent opportunity to consider
his contribution to United States history through the Civil Rights Movement. This
documentary, produced in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education,
encapsulates in an engaging form the key events and experiences which shaped King's
leadership style and transformed American society. Educators, students and families will
find the The Making of a Dream to be an ideal way to learn more about Dr. King’s life,
his world renowned writings, and his role in shaping race relations worldwide.

The Making of a Dream is a retrospective look at Dr. King as he became
the most prominent leader of the Civil Rights Movement. This 25-minute documentary
includes original footage from major events in this movement as well as imaginative
recreations of turning points in King's own life. With commentary from historians,
popular actors, key political leaders, and local Memphis residents, this program traces
King's life and legacy from the Montgomery Bus Boycott through the creation of a
national holiday in his honor. Americans of all backgrounds discuss their own compelling
reasons why our nation celebrates this popular leader every January and why his memory
still inspires us. The images and speeches captured in the documentary provide a thought-
provoking and informative way for young people to consider how Dr. King and the Civil
Rights Movement have shaped modern America.

The United States Department of Education does not mandate or prescribe curricula or
lesson plans. The information in this guide is provided only as a resource that educators
may find helpful and use at their option.

Classroom Links:
“The Making of a Dream” is useful for history, social studies and civics courses, as well
as lesson plans which incorporate current events. It is an excellent resource for Martin
Luther King Day events and Black History Month, and would be useful as well for youth
group programs and activities.                                                            1
Family Viewing Suggestions:

Families may want to watch “The Making of a Dream” together, comparing their
reactions to the film. Older members of the family can share their own memories of the
events covered in the documentary; younger members may want to respond to some of
the interviews with young people in the program. Together, viewers can assess the legacy
of Dr. King, evaluating the impact of the Civil Rights Movement on our lives today.


bigotry- prejudice, bias, or discrimination; intolerance for difference
civil disobedience- refusal to comply with certain laws as a form of peaceful protest
“civil rights”- the rights of citizens in a state to political and social equality and freedom
color-blind- ignoring or deemphasizing racial categories and backgrounds
de facto- social conditions or realities which exist as a matter of fact or custom rather
than law
de jure- rights or relations that are written and enforced through official laws
integration- incorporation as equals into society or an organization of individuals of
different groups (as races)
second-class citizen- regarded as lesser, not equal, and not deserving of all societal rights
segregation- enforced separation of racial groups in a society

Discussion Questions:

    1. What were some of the events in Dr. King’s youth which led to his decision to
       fight against discrimination and segregation?
    2. In one of his earliest speeches, Dr. King said “If freedom is good for any, it is
       good for all.” What do you think he meant by this quote, and how did he attempt
       to live up to this idea throughout his life?
    3. Dr. King worked to achieve civil rights for African Americans in many different
       areas, such as voting rights. What were some of the other areas in which he and
       the participants in the Civil Rights movement sought to secure equality?
    4. The celebration of Martin Luther King Day is a uniquely American holiday.
       What do you think this day represents? Is it about Dr. King’s birthday only?
       What are some of the ideas and thoughts this day prompts you to reflect upon?
    5. When Dr. King was assassinated, he left behind a great legacy. Which national
       leaders or people in your community do you think most embody his vision and
    6. How did Mahatma Gandhi influence Martin Luther King? What was his essential
       philosophy and how did Martin Luther King aim to embody his ideas in the
       United States?
    7. What are you thoughts about the music and images in this documentary? How do
       the choices of sound impact the way you interpret the messages and themes?                                                             2
                  Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: “The Making of a Dream”
                                     Viewing Chart

                  Early Years                                    Questions

Born: January 15, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia         1. Martin Luther King grew up in what
                                                      neighborhood in Atlanta?
•   Family roots in the Baptist church
•   King graduated from Morehouse College at       2. Who influenced King to become a
    the age of 19                                     minister?
•   Married Coretta Scott King in 1953
•   Studied theology at Crozer Theological         3. Dr. King moved to ________ to start
    Seminary and received his PhD from                 his career as a minister and political
    Boston University in 1955                          activist.

        The Civil Rights Movement                                Questions
•   Became Pastor at the Dexter Avenue Baptist     1. In 1956, the __________ Court
    Church                                            declared that the segregated buses in
•   Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a       Montgomery were illegal.
    segregated bus, 1955; King elected President
    of the Montgomery Improvement Assoc.           2. Martin Luther King learned about non-
•   King founds the Southern Christian                violence from Mahatma Gandhi, a
    Leadership Conference in 1957
                                                      leader in what country?
•   Civil Rights Campaign in Birmingham, 1963
•   March on Washington, Summer 1963
                                                   3. When Martin Luther King was 35, he
•   Civil Rights Act, 1964; Voting Rights Act,
    1965                                              was awarded the ________ Peace
•   March from Selma to Montgomery, 1965              Prize.
•   King travels North, starts the Poor People’s
    Campaign in 1967                               4. What American leader is shown
•   Assassinated April 4, 1968 in Memphis, TN         making a speech in the video after
                                                      King’s death?

          The Making of a Holiday                                Questions

•   In the wake of Dr. King’s death, the           1. ________________ was President
    debate about Civil Rights continued.              when Dr. King’s birthday was
•   After much debate, the House and                  declared a holiday.
    Senate both passed a bill making Martin
    Luther King Jr.’s birthday a national
                                                   2. Write down a short quote Dr.
    holiday; signed into law on Nov. 2, 1983
                                                      King states in the video or that
•   Martin Luther King day was celebrated
    for the first time Jan. 20th, 1986 and is         you have heard before.
    observed every year on the third
    Monday in January.                                                                3
              Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: “The Making of a Dream”
                              Civil Rights Timeline
This documentary encourages viewers to consider the history of the Civil Rights
Movement as well as its legacy today. In order to chart the progress of the movement
and to trace the life of Dr. King, fill in the dates below.

    1. In ________, Martin Luther King, Jr. spearheaded the Montgomery Bus Boycott
       at the young age of 26.

    2. The Supreme Court decided in ________ that segregation on the buses in
       Montgomery was against the law.

    3. In his speech “I Have a Dream,” Dr. King said “Now is the time to rise from the
       dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice.” This
       speech was delivered during the March on Washington events in ____________.

    4. One of the major campaigns of the Civil Rights Movement was the drive for
       voting rights. In _______, there was a march from Selma to Montgomery to
       protest the lack of voting rights for African Americans.

    5. In honor of his efforts, Dr. King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in _______.

    6. Martin Luther King went to Memphis to support workers on strike. During that
       fateful trip in _______ he was shot and killed.

    7. In _________, Dr. King’s birthday was made a national holiday.

Extended Activities:

    1. Martin Luther King, Jr. was known for his famous oratory style and gift with
       words. Many of his speeches have been published and are available at libraries,
       on the Internet and in book stores. Research his speeches and pick a paragraph
       that you find interesting. In a short essay, describe what you like about this
       paragraph and what it teaches about Dr. King’s philosophies.
    2. Much of the early Civil Rights movement focused on ending segregation that was
       required by local law in the American South and in our nation’s capital. This type
       of segregation is called “de jure” (“by law”). Another type of segregation is by
       custom or common practice. It is called “de facto”. What types of challenges are
       presented by de jure segregation? Why is this different than de facto segregation?
       Debate in class which form of segregation would be harder or easier to change.                                                             4
    3. The Supreme Court determined that school segregation was illegal with the
       Brown v. the Board of Education decision, prompting the leaders of the Civil
       Rights movement to fight against segregation in schools, in transportation, and in
       public places such as restaurants. In small groups, investigate the efforts of the
       civil rights leaders to fight racism and segregation in these different arenas. Each
       group should research one topic, such as city busses, lunch counters, etc. Present
       your findings to the class through oral presentations, power point, or on a poster
    4. In addition to Dr. King, there were many people throughout the country who
       contributed to the Civil Rights Movement and helped bring about change.
       Research another participant or leader in the Civil Rights Movement using books
       or the Internet. On a piece of construction paper or small poster board create a
       visual biography of this person. You can include relevant dates, images, quotes
       and publications. Share your discovery with your classmates or group.
    5. Dr. King’s commitment to Civil Rights took him throughout the country. Though
       focused on the South, he later took his campaign to the North. Using your own
       research, chart the chronology of his travels. Then, get a map of the United States,
       pinpointing the places he went. You can also supplement this map by pinpointing
       the location of other important events from the post-1945 era of U.S. history and
       the Civil Rights Movement. You can add dates below the map or on the sides in
       order to keep track of when they occurred.
    6. Over the course of his career, Martin Luther King transformed his own political
       tactics, particularly as opposition to the Vietnam War challenged the focus on
       Civil Rights. Through your own reading and research, trace these changes.
       Which speeches and ideas are most indicative of his approach to achieving Civil
       Rights after the 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery?
    7. What was Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream, for America? What is your dream for
       America? Express your dream through poetry, music, or art work and share it
       with the class. You can also discuss your dreams for your community and your
       future.                                                         5

Multiple choice questions:

    1.   Martin Luther King Jr. went to which college?
    a)   Harvard University
    b)   Morehouse College
    c)   The University of Georgia
    d)   Memphis State University

    2. Which of these quotes from Dr. King is heard in the documentary?
    a) “Sometimes a law is just on its face and unjust in its application.”
    b) “The purpose of our direct-action program is to create a situation so crisis-packed
       that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation.”
    c) “And let us move on in these powerful days, these days of challenge to make
       America what it ought to be.”
    d) “How could I love a race of people who hated me? This was to be a great question
       in my mind.”

    3. Which of the following phrases, used in the video, is another term for non-
    a) passive resistance
    b) mobilization
    c) utilization
    d) de facto

    4. Robert F. Kennedy called for Americans to respond with what after King
       was assassinated?
    a) “All deliberate speed.”
    b) “Love and wisdom, and compassion.”
    c) “Justice delayed.”
    d) “Wheels of change.”

True or False:

    1. The March on Washington came before the Supreme Court’s Brown v. the Board
       of Education decision.
    2. Martin Luther King, Jr. was married to Coretta Scott King.
    3. Martin Luther King, Jr. grew up as a poor and disadvantaged child.
    4. Dr. King’s father was a minister in Atlanta at the Ebenezer Baptist Church.
    5. Dr. King’s personal experiences with racism and discrimination influenced his
       decision to fight for Civil Rights.
    6. The Elaine Motel in Atlanta, where Dr. King was assassinated, now houses the
       Civil Rights Museum.                                                         6
Match the following words in column 1 with its corresponding word in column 2.

Column 1
a) March on Washington
b) segregation
c) 1986
d) Rosa Parks
e) civil disobedience
f) “How long? Not long.”

Column 2
a) separation of races, either legally or by custom
b) quote from MLK speech
c) major Civil Rights protest in 1963
d) the year King’s birthday was declared a national holiday
e) a method of achieving change by pushing the boundaries of law
f) refused to give up her seat in the white section of a Montgomery bus                                                 7
Primary Source Guide:

The following document is an excerpt from the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This document
and others can be found online at This web site is the home
page for the Our Documents initiative, a cooperative effort among National History Day,
the National Archives and Records Administration and USA Freedom Corps., and
includes links and suggested resources for using primary sources.

                                The Civil Rights Act of 1964, excerpt:

      An Act

      To enforce the constitutional right to vote, to confer jurisdiction upon the district courts of the
      United States to provide injunctive relief against discrimination in public accommodations, to
      authorize the Attorney General to institute suits to protect constitutional rights in public facilities
      and public education, to extend the Commission on Civil Rights, to prevent discrimination in
      federally assisted programs, to establish a Commission on Equal Employment Opportunity, and
      for other purposes.

      Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in
      Congress assembled, That this Act may be cited as the "Civil Rights Act of 1964".

      SEC. 202. All persons shall be entitled to be free, at any establishment or place, from
      discrimination or segregation of any kind on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin, if
      such discrimination or segregation is or purports to be required by any law, statute, ordinance,
      regulation, rule, or order of a State or any agency or political subdivision thereof.

Primary Source Questions:

Reading the Civil Rights Act and other primary sources presents an excellent opportunity
to analyze how historical events are recorded and what we can learn from these
documents. The questions below provide a guide for discussing the 1964 Civil Rights
Act and primary source documents in a variety of formats. The web resources following
these questions include links for many more sources related to the career of Martin
Luther King, Jr., the Civil Rights Movement, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.

    1. Primary sources are eyewitness or first-hand accounts of events in written or other
       form; a primary source records an event as it occurred or is a documentation of an
       event from someone who witnessed or experienced it as it occurred. These
       sources are distinct from secondary sources, which are documents that are not
       original or first-hand accounts but which build upon primary sources to provide
       more context and analysis. Examples of primary sources: government documents,
       speeches (audio or in transcription), journals, photographs, and creative works
       such as art and music pieces. Examples of secondary sources: text books, reviews,
       encyclopedia entries, and newspaper articles which are published long after an
       event. Can you think of other examples of each kind of source?
    2. Interpreting primary sources properly requires understanding the “historical
       context” or background to a document or event which shaped its creation and
       content. In order to more fully analyze and make sense of primary sources it is
       helpful to research the circumstances surrounding its historical moment. In                                                                                 8
        analyzing the Civil Rights Act, for example, you would want to know what else
        was going on in the Civil Rights Movement and in U.S. history during that time.
        After reading the above passage, research the events leading up to its passage in
        1964. What were the challenges and debates behind the Civil Rights Act? How
        could it have been different based upon these debates? (Note: The History
        Channel documentary Crossing the Bridge includes excellent footage of these
        years as well as coverage of the debate surrounding the Civil Rights Act.)
    3. What type of document is the Civil Rights Act of 1964? How is such an act
        passed and approved? What other kinds of sources could you consult in order to
        understand its context?
    4. How does reading the Civil Rights Act differ from other kinds of sources? What
        other kinds of sources could you consult to get a broader view of what the
        document means and the history behind its inception?
    5. Listening to speeches is another form of primary source interpretation. How is
        hearing a speech different from reading it? (Suggestion: Listen to MLK’s “I Have
        a Dream Speech” and then read the text as a way to test out the difference.)
    6. Oral history is another form of primary source. They are spoken recordings of
        people who experienced historical events. Who from the Civil Rights era would
        you have liked to interview?
    7. Are there some sources created only to be read? Only to be heard?
    8. How did Martin Luther King, Jr. use television and the media in his Civil Rights
        campaigns? How would they have been different had he not had these tools
    9. How do sources from more recent history, like that of the Civil Rights Movement,
        differ from older sources?
    10. How has the availability of digital sources changed the collection and
        maintenance of primary sources?

Web Resources:

This contains websites for information created and maintained by organizations other
than the Department of Education. This information is provided for the reader's
convenience. Inclusion does not constitute an endorsement by the Department.

The Martin Luther King Papers Project web site includes historical background
information on Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement:

An interactive and chronological guide to MLK’s travels, efforts, and speeches:

A speech archive from the University of California which includes an audio recording of
King’s “I Have a Dream” Speech:

An informative web page on Martin Luther King, Jr. day including the history of the
holiday:                                                          9
U.S. National Archives Digital Classroom site on Brown v. the Board of Education:

A helpful website on Brown v. Board for younger students:

An excellent Civil Rights Movement site by the University of Southern Mississippi:

Nothing herein shall be construed as a U.S. Department of Education endorsement, sanction, or
control over curriculum or any program of instruction.                                                            10

To top